The two songs performed by Antonio "Tony" Pisapia, "La Notte" and "Lunghe Notti da Bar", are original tracks co-written by Peppe Servillo (Tony Servillo's brother) and Paolo Sorrentino for the movie. Tony Servillo sings these two songs in the movie, without post production dubbing.

Paolo Sorrentino has disclosed in an interview that the character of Antonio "Tony" Pisapia, created thanks to Toni Servillo's performance, inspired him to create the main character of his book "Hanno Tutti Ragione", the singer Tony Pagoda. For this reason, Sorrentino acknowledges Tony Servillo in the book.

The game plan envisaged in the movie, which theorises four centre forwards moving diagonally on the pitch giving to the team the "one man up" advantage, is inspired by the tactic that Ezio Glerean applied to his team, A.S. Cittadella.

The movie is loosely based on the lives of football player Agostino Di Bartolomei, who committed suicide in 1994, and singer Franco Califano.